Berlin: Protesters halt East Side Gallery demolition

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“This is a unique opportunity to preserve a large section of what was once a death strip. If you remove the sections, you’re destroying the authenticity of this place,” Guardian quotes Noir whose painted section of the wall is to be removed. “It’s unbearable to see that the wall here is being so brutally torn down.”

When I saw this article fly through the web I had to share. As an admitted “tourist” of the East Side Gallery with a curiosity for how the politics of the Wall have changed over the past 50 years, I found it incredibly fascinating to think of the former death strip – once vehemently protested against – now finding itself transformed into a cultural artifact that is currently causing protests for preserving the culture and authenticity of the former borderland.

Same wall, two different histories. Yet as this picture states, the similarities are ironic if not outright uncanny: To the left, 1989. To the right, 2013.

A distinct convergence of art, memory, politics, and development. The sections of wall being removed are to facilitate the constructions of a new high-rise development – whose developer declares that the sections removed will continue to be preserved, only a few meters away from their current resting place. The developer has been receiving threatening emails. Guards in front of the wall yet again. Eternal return with difference?

Too bad we couldn’t be there to see the live action. Here are some old Fallopia shots of the East Side Gallery from a few years back.

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